Posted on May 28, 2022
We’re getting into the deep offseason for Pac-12 football and that means it’s time to start looking ahead with preseason rankings for positions.
We’ll start with quarterbacks where the world of the transfer portal has completely changed everything.
Of the projected starting quarterbacks in the conference this year, only a few aren’t transfers.
1. Caleb Williams, Sophomore, USC
What a strange journey for the Class of 2021’s top QB recruit. He stepped in as a true freshman and instantly looked like a star.
There’s no reason to think he won’t continue to progress with Lincoln Riley and turn into one of the scariest QBs we have seen in the Conference in recent history.
2. Cameron Rising, Junior, Utah
Rising is emerging as a really good QB and the clear starter for the Utes might be the biggest reason they broke through and won the Pac-12 last year.
He was exceptional in the Rose Bowl before going down with an injury and could challenge Williams for the top spot on this list if he keeps progressing.
3. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Senior, UCLA
DTR has been in the Pac-12 for a long time and he’s quietly been good the past two seasons. He’s the conference veteran and his ability to make plays with his feet is underrated.
4. Cam Ward, Senior, Washington State
It’s going to be really interesting to see how the FCS transfer can translate to the Pac-12. He was unreal the past two seasons at Incarnate Word, scoring 74 touchdowns and throwing only 14 ints.
5. Jayden de Laura, Sophomore, Arizona
de Laura looked like he was going to be the next stellar Cougar QB and now all of a sudden he’s a Wildcat. His addition to Arizona could make them a lot better instantly as he was a playmaker for the Cougars in 2020 and 2021 and has the potential to get even better.
6. Chance Nolan, Junior, Oregon State
A solid and proven starter for the Beavers, he helped them step up in 2021. He’s efficient and underrated at making plays with his feet.
7. Bo Nix, Junior, Oregon
Nix started three years in the SEC and is getting a fresh start in the Pac-12. He was mostly solid at Auburn and had his moments. He should be an upgrade at QB for the Ducks and looks like the favorite to win the job.
8. Michael Penix, Junior, Washington
Penix flashed at times during his career at Indiana and played under Kalen Deboer when he was OC there. He’s one of the most-injured QBs in America though so it’s really hard to bank on him being a major player in the conference and maybe even a full-year starter.
9. Tanner McKee, Junior, Stanford
Like Davis Mills before him, he’s a Stanford QB who was a blue-chip recruit coming out of high school who gets a lot of NFL buzz even though he hasn’t done much in college.
He’s 6’6 225 with great skills so don’t be surprised if he puts it all together soon or if he’s just okay and goes in the third round of the next draft.
10. Emory Jones, Senior, Arizona State
Throw in another starting QB from another Power 5 conference who is now in the Pac-12, projected to be a starter, and who had moments at his previous school, but who hasn’t shown anything spectacular.
He should start at ASU and should at the very least be a solid player.
11. Jack Plummer, Senior, Cal
Plummer started several games for Purdue and looks to be the next starter for Cal. He’s been solid in the Big Ten and brings a lot to the table, including decent mobility.
12. Brendon Lewis, Sophomore, Colorado
The Buffs 2021 starter performed well as a freshman and his being down here is more of a testament to the rest of the Conference bringing in experienced veterans as transfers.
He was particularly efficient in regards to touchdowns and turnovers, scoring 12 while throwing just three interceptions.